Announced last March under the code name "M-1000", Dassault Aviation unveiled its new, very long range jet, the 8X Falcon, on 19th May. The aircraft which, for the time being, exists only on paper, or virtually, if you prefer, was presented in Geneva, Switzerland, on the eve of the opening of the EBACE business aviation show.
With a maximum range of almost 12,000 kilometres (6,450 miles), the 8X will be able to carry its eight passengers (up to 19) and three crew members from Los Angeles to Beijing, Sao Paulo or Moscow. The aircraft can also perform steep approaches, of up to 6%, and thus land at airports with reputed difficult accesses such as London City Airport in the UK, Saanen in Switzerland or Saint-Tropez in France.
Its 2.34 metre (over 7,5ft.) wide by 13-metre (almost 43 ft.) cabin, the longest of the Falcon family, will allow the manufacturer to propose 30 possible interior configurations to its clients such as : a crew rest area, spacious lounges and even a shower. Inspired by that of the Falcon 5X, the cockpit has been completely re-designed and comes with an Heads Up Display.
Thanks to its three Pratt & Whitney engines and a new wing designed to minimize overall drag of the aircraft in cruise mode, the Falcon 8X will have a maximum operational cruise speed of Mach 0.9 (685 mph) and consume 35% less kerosene than other aircraft in its class.
At its south west France Bordeaux site, Dassault Aviation has already started production of the new plane, and final assembly of the first Falcon 8X should begin in the coming months; the passenger cabin being fitted out at the Dassault plant in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the USA. The maiden flight of the 8X is expected in early 2015, with first deliveries before the end of 2016. Its price? $ 55 million.